Cabbage and Cauliflower growing

Asked November 4, 2018, 6:12 PM EST

This year I tried cabbage in the spring with minimal success. The heads were small. Do you think the fact that it got so hot so early may have affected them? I started a second planting late summer and I now have a cabbage that looks to be doing very well. My variety is Green Presto. (Yeah, only one. Did not remember that I had done this at all!) I am also interested in growing cauliflower next year. Did not try this year, my first year growing veges. Do you have experience with cauliflower and/or any recommendations? I did find the publication that has recommended varieties and see that there are some very nice looking types. Do you think this also might do better in fall after the heat of the summer? For my first year, I had great success. I live at about 500 ft elevation and get lots of sun. I think I am in a zone 7 or 7A...but hard to know! Lots of micro climates in this area of the country. (came from WI where there were not all the variables as there are here) Thanks!

Wasco County Oregon fruits and vegetables horticulture

2 Responses

Hi there,

I’m so glad you’re journeying into the world of growing your own vegetables! I promise this to be an everlasting rabbit hole of learning :)

Hot weather can absolutely cause cabbage heads to be stunted. (You can still eat them!) This can sometimes be overcome with heavier watering. If this happens again next summer, try watering more deeply, with longer intervals between watering.

You also want to make sure you are planting your cabbage with enough space for them to grow. Crowding can sometimes affect head growth. You can plant them close together, but as they grow, thin them out to about 18 inches apart.

There are also some fungal diseases that can affect the roots and cause stunted growth, but if you are growing some now in the same spot that look fine, that’s not likely the cause, as the fungus lives in the soil and would affect other cabbage (and broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, etc. – the other veggies in the Brassica family) in the same way.

Cauliflower will want similar care to cabbage, in terms of planting timing and spacing. Here is a link to our comprehensive publication called Growing Your Own – which has heaps of fabulous information for a new gardener, including planting dates for various types of veggies: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9027.pdf

If you’d like a paper copy, or have further questions, please feel free to stop by the Wasco County Extension office.

Thanks so much!! That publication you attached is NOT the one I had already found and reviewed, as as you said it has TONS of great information! Thanks!